Another Telangana RTC employee commits suicide

Hyderabad, Oct 13 : A conductor of Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) committed suicide on Sunday, hours after a driver, who attempted self-immolation on Saturday, died at a hospital here.

Depressed over losing his job over the ongoing strike, Surender Goud hanged himself at his house in Karwan area in Hyderabad.

The conductor, who was associated with Ranigunj bus depot in the city, was worried over not receiving the salary for September and was unable to pay EMI for his house loan. The cheque he had issued towards paying the EMI had bounced.

Surender Goud took the extreme step hours after TSRTC driver Srinivas Reddy succumbed to the burn injuries at a hospital here.

Srinivas Reddy, who set himself afire in Khammam town and sustained critical injuries, breathed his last at the Apollo DRDO Hospital, where he was admitted late on Saturday.

The driver had resorted to the extreme step during a protest by TSRTC employees, whose indefinite strike entered the ninth day on Sunday.

The employee unions have alleged that the driver was depressed over losing his job as Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has announced that over 48,000 employees dismissed themselves by not joining duty before the deadline set by the government. The Chief Minister has ruled out taking back the employees into TSRTC and has asked the officials to recruit new staff.

The driver’s death triggered tension near the hospital in Kanchanbagh area as leaders of TSRTC employee unions and opposition parties reached there and staged a protest against the government, blaming it for the employee’s death.

The protestors raised slogan against the government and the police had a tough time in controlling the crowd at the hospital.

Tension prevailed in Khammam district as incidents of stone pelting on TSRTC buses were reported since Saturday evening.

Amid tight security, Srinivas Reddy’s body was shifted to Khammam town, where his last rites were performed on Sunday night.

TSRTC employee unions have called for a shutdown in Khammam on Monday to protest over the self-immolation of Srinivas Reddy.

Meanwhile, another driver of Khammam depot, Venkateshwara Chary, has attempted self-immolation. He poured petrol on himself but his colleagues and the police stopped him from taking the extreme step.

The striking employees on Sunday intensified their protest by resorting to ‘vanta varpu’, or cooking on roads, along with their family members.

The Joint Action Committee (JAC) of TSRTC employees unions has announced week-long protest programmes. It has also called for a state-wide shutdown on October 19.

The Chief Minister has rejected all the demands of the striking employees, including the main one for merger of TSRTC with the government. He also ruled out talks with them.

With the Chief Minister directing TSRTC to restore 100 per cent bus services in three days, the TSRTC on Sunday issued a notification for recruitment of bus drivers, conductors and other employees on temporary basis.

/IANS

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